Well, it’s been a week since I posted about the FrogLube/Seal 1/Track Lube controversy. Since then another story has come out regarding FrogLube being coconut oil with an added minty scent. Since I haven’t run my own IR of coconut oil or NMR of the pair to compare them, I can’t say for sure on that one just yet. But that doesn’t matter as much to me. What matters is that I already accomplished my goal. I didn’t expect my original testing of lubricants with Vuurwapen Blog to go very far on its own. I just wanted to show people that they could do their own testing, and bring some actual science into the discussion of these “wonder lubes.” And now that people are doing their own tests, I can say I was successful. Everything else that’s happened since then is just a bonus. The main point is that I tricked people into doing science. So haha, I won.
In other news, I was doing some research on FrogLube and came across the MSDS sheet for their products. For those that don’t know, Material Safety Data Sheets (sometimes called Safety Data Sheets or SDS) have everything you need to know about a given chemical you may be using. Information includes health effects, proper storage/disposal, procedures in the event of a spill, flammability, and for compounds of more than one chemical, an ingredient list with rough percentages of each. When I worked at a swimming pool store this past summer the MSDS sheets helped us know which chemicals to store away from others, what to do when something spilled, and how to handle exposure to the chemicals. We (or at least I) use MSDS sheets quite a bit in chemistry labs, so we know what to do if something goes wrong. I have a lot of experience with them and although each company uses a slightly different form, they all have the same information.
Or at least they should.
I found FrogLube’s MSDS documents strangely… blank. You can see their MSDS forms HERE, but there’s not much to read. The most information on any of them is the “Accidental Release Measures” section of their solvent, indicating that floors will become slippery, but you can wash the stuff into drains. Other than that they have no information on the type of chemical, incompatibility with any other chemicals (usually a big deal in lab settings, especially for large organic molecules like triglycerides), or flammability. And that last one is what concerns me. Having tested it, I understand that FrogLube is a triglyceride, and as anyone that’s had an oil fire while cooking can tell you, triglycerides are inherently flammable. See this video for more evidence of FrogLube igniting. And yet FrogLube’s own MSDS sheets show “N/A” under Flammability. I realize that they may not have had a chemist make the sheet, but this information could prove life saving in the event of a major spill or fire (like at their factory). Flash ignition of organic compounds is a big deal, and should be noted with more than “N/A” on the MSDS.
I should give FrogLube some credit. They did at least put their MSDS info out there. I couldn’t find MSDS for FireClean or Seal 1, but I put out emails to both companies requesting a copy. We’ll see what they say, or if they even have one ready to go.
Edit: I also contacted FrogLube through the contact form on their website to see if Larry Lasky is willing to share his side of the FrogLube/Seal 1 story. Interesting to note that their contact form won’t submit unless you put your email address in the “Town” and “State” sections of the form. Putting your actual town and state and submitting gives you an error that “Email address seems invalid.” Now we just hope whoever answers the contact forms will actually pass it along to Mr. Lasky.
Likewise, I sent an email to Scott Lee of Seal 1 to see if he is willing to confirm/deny any of last week’s story, or if he would like to share his side of things. I used the email listed for him on Seal 1’s website.